Twitter for Beginners

I created this page to help bloggers and other people who are new to Twitter figure out how to get started.

TwitterSuzie

It’s a series about Twitter basics I’m writing to help my friends and fellow-bloggers learn to grow their followings.

Twitter for Bloggers

Part I: The #Intro

Part II: What’s it All About?

Part III: What Do I Want?

Part IV: The Followback Game

Part V: The Following/Follower Ratio

Part VI: Account Management

PartVII: The Importance of @MondayBlogs

Part VIII: How Many Followers Do You Need?

A suggested startup plan for first-timers with new accounts.

  1. Follow 200 accounts that interest you and that you trust.
  2. Don’t follow them all on the same day, and don’t unfollow any account within 4 or 5 days of following – that’s spammer behavior, and with a small account, it’s easy to get suspended that way.
  3. Don’t go crazy with the follows at first. You can only follow 2000 accounts until you reach nearly 2000 followers. Early on, once you get comfortable, you can follow hundreds, and unfollow as necessary once your following grows into the 100s. You can carry 100 or more unfollowers all the way up to 2000 if you manage your account properly.
  4. If you’re new, you don’t want your feeds to get too active, too quickly. So follow 200 accounts you trust and see how many follow you back. Friends, celebrities, businesses you like, whatever. You need interesting things to retweet for the first little while. Otherwise, unless you’re good at standup comedy, you’ll end up tweeting about what you had for lunch just to put something out there.
  5. Try and find two or three people who are as active as you are and tweet with them on a regular basis. It helps if these are people you know offline who share a few of your interests, so you can all use the same hashtags.
  6. Early on, it’s a good idea to thank people for follows. In my opinion, it is not good idea to send direct messages thanking people for following. I rarely use direct messaging on Twitter because my inbox stays clogged with automated thank yous.
  7. Look at your notifications and respond to, or at least favorite, as many mentions and Tweets as you can.

Twitter-icon-the-bird

The idea is to be your civil, genuine, interesting self and use the hashtags a bit. Once you’ve done this for awhile, at least a few people who share your interests on Twitter are bound to notice you. For me, it took about a month of Tweeting daily, but I was also using WordPress to find bloggers I liked with Twitter accounts, and that sped up the process. It could take awhile. The most important thing is to be nice, and genuine. Twitter runs on good manners.

A quick list of things to stay away from:

  1. Too much self-promotion. It annoys.
  2. Attacking people (ideas are a different matter). Do bear in mind that communicating in 140-character snippets strips the subtlety out of your language — more so than text chat and comment threads. Be careful with the snark until you get your feet under you. It usually comes across as meanness, and meanness is like a death sentence on Twitter.
  3. Asking for follows. Some people do it, but to me, that’s like asking another blogger to link to one of your posts. It turns me off.

Eventually, you’ll want to be following lots of people all the time. But before you start doing that, it’s best to get acclimated and learn the basics. Read this series and incorporate the principles into your Twitter game until you’ve mastered them.

This way of Tweeting, along with my networking at WordPress, is how I learned to find real Twitter followers, but Twitter overwhelmed me at first. It took me a lot of research and effort to figure all this out. No need for you to spend all that energy learning it on your own when I can just tell you how to do it.

Further Reading

How to Twitter: Tips for Newbies

Molly Greene talks about more things to stay away from here, and gives good basic advice in general. Molly also emphasizes many of the tips from this page. I learned most of them the hard way, but the article confirmed them for me in a way that just having a successful Twitter account does not. @MollyGreene

Think You’re Stuck At Following 2000 on Twitter? Think again!

Rachel Thompson talks about the following limit, explains how she manages multiple large accounts, and explains a useful app.  @BadRedheadMedia @MondayBlogs @RachelintheOC

Identify and Remove Fake Twitter Accounts in Three Easy Steps

Valuable info about how fake Twitter accounts work from the ManageFlitter blog by Chelcie Plowright. I use ManageFlitter often, and am happy to discuss it with anyone who needs help figuring it out. @Chelciep

images via Suzie81’s Blog and Molly Greene

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11 thoughts on “Twitter for Beginners

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